Put the Brakes on Visible Skin Ageing with Collagen


Clinical studies show that hydrolyzed collagen can reduce the depth of your wrinkles by up to 26% as well as keeping your skin moist.

Collagen is a long fibrous structural protein, found primarily in the extracellular matrix, and constitutes roughly 70–80% of the dry weight of our skin. It forms fibrous bundles with great tensile strength – these are what provide strength and elasticity in tissues found in the body including ligaments, tendons, cartilage and skin. Accordingly it plays an important role in skin ageing.  During ageing, not only do levels of collagen fall, but also the distribution of collagen fibers alters.  So can signs of ageing be treated? A growing number of clinical studies provide evidence that they can, by taking a daily oral dose of hydrolyzed collagen[5,8]. Hydrolysis breaks up native collagen molecules into much smaller and more easily digestible products. These small hydrolyzed collagen molecules have very high bioavailability (up to 95%), and no negative side effects are presently known. 

The most noticeable signs of skin ageing are wrinkle formation through loss of elasticity. There are several factors in this process[1]. The density of collagen decreases alongside a reduction in the diameter of collagen fibrils. The distribution of collagen fibrils also alters, resulting in large bundle-like aggregates of collagen, sparsely arranged through the dermis.

The dermis provides the strength and structure of the skin. With the ageing-related reduction in collagen levels, the skin’s surface becomes lined and furrowed as gaps in the collagen based structure appear. Matsuda et al showed in 2006 that ingestion of hydrolyzed collagen enhances the formation of collagen fibrils in the dermis. The scientific studies also showed an increase in the number of fibroblasts – these are the cells that make collagen and are themselves important in skin structure[2,6] .

There is support for Matsuda’s findings. A well known British product containing hydrolyzed collagen was consumed by 22 participants in a clinical study to gauge its effects on wrinkle formation and hydration in the skin over a period of 12 weeks. Participants found a reduction of 26% in fine wrinkle formation. A protective effect was also seen against the formation of deep wrinkles. Deep wrinkle formation was reduced by 24% in those taking hydrolyzed collagen, compared to a group receiving a placebo. Volunteers also reported improvements in skin tone and suppleness of 32% and 45% respectively.

Ingestion of hydrolyzed collagen also increases skin hydration as reported by, among others, Morganti[3,4] and supported by Sumida[7]. Consumption of hydrolyzed collagen seems to increase the water-binding capacity of the epidermis, so the surface layers of the skin can retain more moisture. 68% of volunteers reported that their skin was less dry after 8 weeks of taking hydrolyzed collagen.



1. Cosgrove MC et al, (2007) Dietary nutrient intakes and skin ageing appearance among middle aged American women. Am. J. Clin. Nutr. 86: 1225-1231

2. Matsuda et al, (2006) Effects of ingestion of collagen peptide on collagen fibrils and glycosaminoglycans in the dermis. J Nutri Sci Vitaminol 52: 211-215

3. Morganti P, Randazzo SD, (1987) Enriched gelatine as skin hydration enhancer. L Appl. Cosmtol., 5: 105-120

4. Morganti P, Randazzo SD, Bruno C, (1988) Oral treatment of skin dryness. Cosmet Toilet 103: 77-80

5. Final report on the safety assessment of hydrolyzed collagen. (1985) J. Am. Coll. Toxicol., 4: 199-221

6. Postlethwaite AE, Seyer JM, Kang AH, (1978) Chemotactic attraction of human fibroblasts to type I, II, and III collagens and collagen derived peptides. Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. USA 75: 871-875

7.  Sumida E, (2004) The effects of oral ingestion of collagen peptide on skin hydration and biochemical data of blood. J. Nutritional Food 7 (3): 45-52

8. Zague V et al, (2011) Collagen Hydrolysate Intake Increases Skin Collagen Expression and Suppresses Matrix Metalloproteinase 2 Activity.  J. Med. Food 14: 618-624